There once was a girl. She had dreams. Big dreams. When her elementary school friends were answering the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” with “Mommy” she answered “President”. She hit a few bumps and finished her college degree when she was 27. She was married then. And when the offers came in from big 4 accounting firms, she started thinking about how she was going to go law school and how she was going to make partner and do great things.
But she didn’t. Her husband didn’t want to move to a big city, He had a good job with his family’s local company. He worked hard and liked the community where they lived.
So they stayed. She took a smaller job and in a couple of years, got pregnant. They discussed having one parent at home and it made the most sense for her. So she quit her job and spent the days fixing up the little home they purchased so it was ready when the baby came. The baby came and a little over a year later she got pregnant again.
A lot happened in those early years of babies. Days were busy and full and hard and the girl who wanted to be President one day wondered how she got into the place she never expected.
Today, those babies are 8 and 6. She’s registered for classes only to drop them. Sometimes a few weeks in and sometimes before they even start. Her husband is busy and her kids are busy and someone needs to hold all the pieces together and life is more peaceful when she isn’t trying to juggle classwork with kids’ doctor appointments and yard work and making sure dinner hits the table on time. She bristles that this is her life.
Because she never wanted to be just a mom. Or just a wife. She’s better than that.
But that’s just part of her story. It’s the story she’s woven together of who she should be. It’s a story of gold stars and achievement and this character she’s created when she gets scared she isn’t enough just on her own.
Sometimes she’s scared to admit that she’s happy being domestic. She’s not happy all the time of course, because it’s hard. Washing dishes and folding laundry and picking up toys for the 100th time is mindless and repetitive and no one is handing out gold stars. No one notices how smart you are busy making beds.
But if you ask her to describe where she wants to be in three years she’ll tell you that she wants a warm and cozy home with children who know they are loved. She wants time to enjoy her books, and journals, and yarn. She wants a few close friends to share the good and the bad and the simple and the hard. She wants to curl up next to her husband at the end of day, productive tired and sleepy content.
She doesn’t want to be President. Or finish her MLIS. She wants to be just a wife and a just mother. Joyfully. Unabashedly. Content.
She wants to embrace that her story has changed. And that the universe has written her a story so much better than the one she wrote for herself.